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Career Vs. SAHM...Pros and Cons?

I have always been very career driven.  I took 13 weeks after having DS and went back to work very full time with a demanding stressfull job.  Now with baby #2 due in March, 23 months after DS#1 was born I am debating to be a SAHM or go back to work.  My job does not allow me to work part time. Also, the money is great, so working part time somewhere else would not pay for two in daycare...  I would love to here your pros and cons. Thanks Ladies!!
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Re: Career Vs. SAHM...Pros and Cons?

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    It doesn't have to be all or nothing. Depending on your field, it's possible to take a few years off while your children are small then go back.

    Whether you should do it depends on your personality. Do you think you'd be fulfilled and happy having your job be to manage your household/care for your children all day? It's definitely not for everyone.

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    imageamy052006:

    Well, they are two totally different lifestyles.  

    For me, the pro of where I am right now is more time with DS and an easier day to day life, and the obvious con is I have back burnered my career (event though I work part time).  IMO, people undersell that con, either because they never were into a career in the first place or because they have really unrealistic expectations about what it is like to re-enter the work force.  I feel like I have a realistic understanding of the risk, and am comfortable with it -- I don't get that impression from some Bumpies at all.

    FWIW, I left my former employer when it became clear that my version of "part time" wasn't going to work, and landed somewhere else doing the same thing in the perfect part time position. 

    Good point.

    I think something that's important if you do decide to take time off and eventually want to go back is continue maintaining professional contacts. Go to networking events, take some classes, join linkedin and keep friendly with former coworkers, overall just keep yourself active in your field's community so people don't forget about you. I know women who have successfully transitioned back to the workforce after an extended leave without even taking a paycut just because they kept those connections who helped them land a job when they were ready to go back. Regardless of whether you take time off, that's great advice to follow to get ahead since a good percentage of openings are filled by referrals, not job ads.

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    Wow, Thanks ladies!! I love hearing what everyone has to say. I welcome more feedback! :)
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    I think it's all very personal.  Knowing where you're going to find the greatest satisfaction can be difficult to judge, even for yourself.   My recommendation would be to shut off outside influences like friends and family and listen to yourself for a while. 
    Stay at home mom to a house of boys: two amazing stepsons, 12 and 9, and our 4 year old.
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    IMO this is going to be different for everyone so my opinion might not really be applicable to you, KWIM?  Only you can really weigh out the pros/cons and decide what is best for your family and you as an individual.

    For me, it's more important for me to be at home with my child than it is to make money/fulfill myself with a career.  We all know that raising babies is a challenge and I get plenty of fulfillment from taking care of my family at this stage of my life.  I can always choose to return to my career, tomorrow if I really wanted to (well, maybe not tomorrow, tomorrow, but you know, if I wanted to switch gears I could start the process of making that happen whenever I want), but I'll never get this time back with my kid.  They're only at this stage of development for such a short time in the grand scheme of things.  I don't know if/when I'll return to my career, but it's always an option.  Right now I'm glad that we made the choice for me to SAH.

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    I work part-time right now. Over the last few years I have worked full-time, been home full-time, and been at work part-time. They all have benefits and drawbacks. One thing that pushed me over the edge staying home was watching an episode of Desperate Housewives.  All of the women were sitting together drinking coffee.  I really wanted something like that in my life.  I had really fulfilling female relationships prior to kids, but once I had DS, I couldn't balance career, kids, and friends/ extended family, or at least not in any meaningful way.

    I know that a lot of people say that they feel more lonely as a SAHM, but I have made some wonderful SAHM friends, and I have gotten back something I was really missing in my life.   


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    l'm a teacher so I sort of have the best of both worlds.  I am home by 3 during the school year, and I am on maternity leave and will be until Nov, I stayed home each time until they're 6 months, so I sort of understand the SAH lifestyle too.

    SAH allows for alot of flexibility, I make appointments when ever I want, do errands when I want, plenty of child centered time and I love spending time with my LOs.  It can also get very boring, even though I have a few friends also on maternity leave with LOs the same age as DD, I can't see them everyday.  Obviously there is less money and while I enjoy going to parks, most days I do seem to spend at lease little on entertainment or a snack or something while at home.  DH gets home by 3:30, but there are some days he works till 5 or 6, and that gets very lonely, I could never do that everyday.  The one thing I find surprising is that I really don't get any more done while staying at home, I think when you work you're much better at managing your time so things work out.  I also try to be healthy and it's too easy to snack and too hard to have a healthy meal while at home.  I'm looking forward to getting back to work and hopefully leaving them at daycare a little later 2 days a week to get to the gym.

    In my situation, I wouldn't be happy SAH full time.  I could only do that if DH make a ton of money so we could shop and do classes and lunches everyday. 

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